Mobile Cellphone Info has posted a new item, 'Review: Get scanner-like features
for any camera with Prizmo 2'
For folks who want to digitize every paper note, receipt, or bill, a dedicated
scannerpreferably one with a duplexing automatic document feederis a must. But
if you arent a hardcore paper-hater and you occasionally need to get the
contents of printed material into your computer, you may not need a dedicated
scanner that takes up precious desk space. Instead, you can use an app like
Prizmo 2. With Prizmo you use your iPhone camera, point and shoot camera, or
DSLR to capture images of documents, and then the software uses optical
character recognition (OCR) to turn the scans into editable text. Prizmo also
works with scanner that lacks OCR capabilities from companies like Brother,
Canon, Xerox, Lexmark, Epson, and HP.
Scanners have flatbeds or feeders that help keep pages straight, flat, and in
focus. But images of documents captured with a camera can have problemsthey can
be crooked, have the wrong exposure, or be distortedwhich makes it difficult for
OCR software to correctly recognize the scanned letters. Even images that you
takes pictures of can suffer from barrel distortion or be trapezoidal. Prizmo
has many tools to help fix these common problems. You can open images already
captured in Prizmo, or you can attach your iPhone or iPad to your Mac and, if
Prizmo is on and active, photos taken with your iOS device will show up
automatically in the application.
Prizmo has a clean, modern user interface. When you first launch the application
and select new document, a large grey window appears that invites you to drop
pictures onto it, or to click one of three icons to open an existing image file,
import from a camera or scanner, or to browse your image libraries.
A dark grey tool bar sits along the bottom of the application window, the
contents of which changes depending on the file type that youve chosen to work
with: Text, Business Card, or Image. The tools on the toolbar let you rotate and
crop the images and adjust the brightness, contrast, sharpness, and saturation
of images to make them easier for the OCR engine to recognize. You can even
calibrate your camera using Prizmo to improve the quality of the images
captured. Once youve processed the scan, click on the toolbars Export icon to
send the text to Mail, Evernote, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, WebDAV, or a
document saved in iCloud.
Prizmo can also capture and recognize text from webpages and images that you
cant select. From within Prizmo go to File > Snap Screen Text to Clipboard
and follow the onscreen instructions to draw a rectangle around the text that
youd like the application to grab. It analyzes it and then you can paste the
text to an application like Word, Text Edit, or Pages.
Prizmo has built-in translation tools for 39 languages, as well. I was able to
take a photo of some fine print warranty information in French and translate it
into English, Spanish, and Thai. The English translation worked well, but Ill
have to trust Prizmo for the Spanish and Thai translations.
Prizmo requires OS X 10.7.5 or later and a Mac with a 64-bit processor. The
software recognizes English, French, German, Italian and Portuguese.
While scanning from your iPhone or camera can be more convenient than having a
dedicated scanner plugged in and taking up space on your desk, the process does
require more work on your end. If you only scan occasionally, then Prizmo 2 can
help make that processing easier. Its OCR engine is pretty accurate and its
included software tools make it easy to edit and improve the quality of the
images after scanning for either text recognition or for photos. The softwares
onscreen text clipping feature is a handy bonus.
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